Two of Reagan’s top priorities are in jeopardy: American hostages are still in the hands of terrorists in Iran, and the Contras are losing their fight against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In early 1986, the two operations merge. In the middle of it all is Lieutenant Colonel Ollie North.

Links to books:

Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up by: Lawrence E. Walsh

Under Fire: An American Story by: Oliver L. North

Special Trust by: Robert C. McFarlane

Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power by: Malcolm Byrne

United States


00:00:13it's early morning on October 5th 1986 American cargo plane soared through the skies above Costa Rica headed for Nicaragua on board or two pilots a radio operator and a single passenger the passenger check the cargo at the back of the plane to ensure everything is so cute it's routine Mission but the cargo today is far from ordinary in the back of the plane or 7 soviet-made AK-47 100,000 rounds of ammunition rocket-propelled grenades and other military supplies stage flying missions like this were over but a call to fly over Nicaragua and drop boxes of cargo few months back seems like Easy Money he's flown this route more than a dozen times the passenger opens the cargo door and looks down
00:01:05500 feet is a long way to fall he types of straps the parachute on his back and he looks down at the Majestic Rio San Juan River Winans way to the Caribbean Sea is beautiful this so he never tires the same
00:01:20but there is something else will load passenger does not see or someone rather a teenage Soldier than Jose Aleman who's packing some military equipment of his own a russian-made shoulder-mounted surface-to-air rocket launcher
00:01:35when Aleman sees a plane he hoisted a weapon to his shoulders Transit sites up and Fire
00:01:44as a plane nosedives towards the ground the passenger closes his eyes and lips pulling the record on this shoot playing continues downward in a trail of smoke crashing into the dense jungle when the passenger touch you unhook to shoot keeps moving whoever was shooting at him probably try to finish the job for the next 24 hours he creep Through the Jungle dodging his pursuers and hiding in the trees finally out of sheer exhaustion you Riggs a makeshift hammock and falls into a Restless sleep when he opens his eyes at Daybreak the first thing he sees is a barrel of a gun behind the barrel is the face of a young man in green fatigues who says what now Rambo
00:02:29the Saint Denis the National Liberation Front or the sandinistas for short is a socialist political party in Nicaragua they first came to power 7 years earlier when they overthrew a dictatorship friendly to the United States the Reagan Administration has been vocally supportive of a rebel group called The contras we're trying to regain control the weapons on board the cargo plane were meant for them the day after the crash the sandinistas government holds a press conference and puts the captured man in front of a television camera to tell the world who he is and who sent him
00:03:17the Crux of Eugene hasenfus the statement is this the CIA coordinated the mission to deliver weapons to the contras in Nicaragua and that is a big deal because delivering weapons to the contras in Nicaragua is illegal Saint Denis officials hold of ID cards of the three Americans who died when the plane was shot down they identify them as agents for the CIA the US response is quick shortly after the house of us press conference Secretary of State George Shultz takes the podium in the White House Press briefing room and denies what house enforces said has any particular rajkovic spin-off to at the people involved were not from our military not from any US government agency and CIA included so it's these are
00:04:12private citizens and
00:04:16it's not a governmental operation but one man watching the conference from his office knows what she'll said isn't true the CIA is involved as our multiple White House officials and members of the National Security Council or the UNSC Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North knows this because he works for the NFC and when it comes to the u.s. Contra operation code-named project democracy Ali is The Man Behind the trigger
00:04:44when the husband will shoot down happens Ollie's in Europe on National Security business when he hears the news he gets on a plane and fly straight back to DC not long after he arrives he summoned by Bill Casey director the CIA North and Casey have been working together project democracy for years
00:05:04after meeting Bill Casey doesn't mince words the operation is over Ali shut it down Molly doesn't have to ask why he understands the implications of the capture of housing for us but there's one question that's been spinning through his mind since the plane went down and I'm going to be blamed for this I'll leave the truth comes out this will go way above your head vine to shut it down clean it up
00:05:28the Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis or for short Semper Fi it means always faithful Ali was a platoon commander in Vietnam to earn two purple hearts and a bronze and silver star for his courage and Leadership when Bill Casey instructs Ali to shut down the operation Ali always faithful gets right to work but no matter what Casey says Ali knows the truth if the whole story goes public and if the death of his involvement is revealed all he's going to find himself in the line of fire
00:06:07from wondery I'm Lindsey Graham in this is American scandal
00:06:34two separate story lines converge to create a r on contract to covert operations in two countries are on in Nicaragua in our previous episode we followed by McFarland in the Iran threat of the story as he worked to advance one President Reagan's top priorities getting back us hostages kidnapped by terrorists in Lebanon in this episode will go back to the spring of 1984 follow another file Reagan's priorities the contras in Nicaragua will take a trip to Central America and Tracy operations Inception to the moment it converges with your Ron arms deal if you haven't heard episode one we suggest going back and giving it a listen
00:07:16in the early 1980s the contras are one of President Reagan's personal causes he sees the conference is Patriots were fighting for Liberty against the Communist sandinistas and they deserve America's full and flinching support Reagan gives it to them from day one of his presidency arms weapons and CIA assistance but Democrats in Congress don't share Reagan's do they worry about starting another Vietnam many believe the United States has no business overthrowing governments and many increasingly feel Reagan isn't being truthful about his intentions in Nicaragua when Democrats sweep the house 1982 two years into Reagan's first term Congress passes the Boland Amendment the Boland Amendment basically says the government cannot use taxpayer funds to try and overthrow the government of Nicaragua congress's message to Reagan is clear don't go too far we're watching you
00:08:13that's a problem for Reagan because he views supporting the contras as a key to keeping America safe from the growing spread of Communism in Central America not long after the amendment passes Reagan tells his National Security advisor Bud McFarlane I want you to do whatever you have to do to help these people keep Body and Soul together but is a soldier at heart who takes his job seriously he needs a strong team to achieve Reagan's Mission with strong leadership the man bun Taps to get the job done is Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North this is Iran-Contra episode 2 Ali
00:08:50it's late spring 1984 in Washington DC and a half years before the cargo plane that shot out of the sky over Nicaragua Ollie North sits at his desk in the old executive office building an ornate structure just west of the White House Ali is a career military man and he looks the part handsome with a strong jawline and clear gray eyes while he's a Workhorse stays late everyday cranking out ideas for pushing Reagan's agenda but today his work is interrupted by a knock at the door it's Bud McFarlane head of the National Security Council and olives but what can I do for it all I want you to have a Nicaraguan resistance open up an offshore bank account so that foreign contributors can make direct deposit to the cause the Nicaraguan resistance or the contras is a collective term for Nicaraguan rebels fighting the sandinistas government what is asking a lie to do is flirting with the legal gray area but all he doesn't ask questions
00:09:50he believes in the chain of command I'll get right to it thank you Ali after blood leaves Ali walks down the hall to the office of CIA director Bill Casey what do you need I've been told to have the resistance set up an offshore account I can use some help Casey chews on a yellow pencil and leans back in his chair after a moment he picks up a secure phone dials number
00:10:19this is Bill tell me if a third-party wanted to help out friends down south who can we trust to handle the money ride thank you Adolfo calero is your man
00:10:33paulino's Calera well calero is a prominent Nicaraguan businessman and a leader in the Contra revolution Ali has made several trips to Central America over the past few years to meet with Calera to help and transport weapons and supplies set up an offshore account the money shouldn't come all at once regular payments once a month here's how you run this pay attention Charlie takes out of paper Ali put that away if you have to write everything down you don't belong in this business now the money should go from the foreign account directly into calleros account it shouldn't come into the United States at all right understood only gets up to leave the room is it the Saudis I don't know come on don't bullshit me honestly I don't know it's got to be the Sally's how much we don't know that either bills educated guesses spot on the Boland amendment makes it illegal for the United States to give money to the contras but it doesn't say anything about that money coming from another
00:11:33country in the summer of 1984 plot xploitz that loophole and security promised to fund the contras from a long time US Airline Saudi Arabia
00:11:45since the early 80s the US has been selling the Saudis weapons high-tech weapons other us allies don't get access to now it was time to return the favor Saudis offer support for the contras to the tune of 1 billion dollars a month
00:12:00engine 3 months after Oliver North meeting with Bill Casey the president meets with the National Security Planning Group or the nspg to discuss the situation in Nicaragua the nspg is made up of President Reagan's top advisors some of the most powerful people in the country but today The Situation Room belongs to ollie Norths pause National Security advisor Bud McFarlane because of the bullying them in countries are running out of money and they're about to fail the question is how will the White House respond one ideas floated what if the US solicits money for the concerts from another country
00:12:37at this point but I might have spoken up he might have told the nspg that Saudi Arabia has already pledged support for the contras might have also told them that the operation is already on her way but but doesn't say a word he sits back quietly and let's Reagan's top advisors hash it out George Shultz secretary of state says obtaining funds for the conference through a third party is an impeachable offense and impeachable the word no one wants to hear especially President Reagan
00:13:07as usual Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger finds himself on the opposite side of Schultz's argument Weinberger is all for obtaining money from a third-party it's perfectly legal end of story CIA director Bill Casey agrees Vice President Bush quietly takes it all in and then says how can anyone object to the US encouraging third parties to provide help to the Auntie sandinistas as long as we're not giving them something in return Schultz tells them that to move forward Reagan will need the approval of the Attorney General everyone in the room agrees to wait before making a final decision
00:13:43during the meeting but never says a word about the sound payments maybe it's because deep down by knows what he's doing is wrong but does say this I certainly hope none of this discussion will be made public and everyone in the Situation Room turns to the president to see how he'll respond if such a story gets out Reagan says we'll all be hanging by our thumbs in front of the white house until we find out who did
00:14:09maybe but keeps his mouth closed because he knows she wants his right if this type of thing gets to the Press impeachment might be more than a forbidden word impeachment might very well be Reagan's new reality
00:14:23but that fear doesn't stop Bud from moving forward violating the Boland Amendment may be wrong but supporting the contras and stopping the spread of Communism is right in for Bud the ends justify the means
00:14:38in the late summer of 1984 Ali takes a flight to Tegucigalpa the capital city of Honduras from there he gets into a car and drives to a contour safe house located in the residential area of the city always just a mid-level guy at the National Security Council what do the contras meeting with Ali is a big deal the men share a meal together beans rice and chicken they communicate through a translator but all you're sure is the man that even though Congress has cut off us support President Reagan promises you'll find a way around the band after dinner Ali needs private with Adolfo calero who is disappointed the contras need money and I need it now promises do them no good and that's when Allie tells him he has more to offer than promises there's a benefactor but he can't say who instructs calero to set up an offshore bank account and send him the account number italics code in a wire transfer address
00:15:34claro ask how much they can expect Ali tells him 1 million dollars a month it's not enough money to fund a revolution but it's a start calleros pleased but all he leaves in the morning no one can know I'm involved in this over the next few months Ali and Callero stay in close communication they talked on the phone regularly they discuss every aspect of the resistance operation from weapons to contras need for good doctors to military strategy and just as a contra operation looks poised for Success Congress delivers another blow
00:16:11only says that between 1982 and 85 the Boland amendments were like an annual ritual each year Reagan ask Congress for money to support the contras and each year Congress has no response with another Boland amendment in October 1984 in response to stories in the Press about the US Contra operation Congress passes another Boland Amendment the strictest one so far the law is Century states that funding the contras in any way shape or form directly or indirectly is illegal no more money no more weapons no more support after the 1984 Boland amendment is passed in October project democracy doesn't grind to a halt it picks up speed
00:16:55the monthly $1000000 payment from The Sound he start in mid 1984 and continue through the end of the year then in early 1985 the Saudis double their commitment and total from 8486 South Seas will contribute 32 million dollars to the Contra operation
00:17:13Route 95 Ali oversees everything he reports to buy McFarland and Bill Casey he supplies a conscious with valuable intelligence military advice and 11 million dollars in arms even secures $2000000 of additional funding from Taiwan but in spite of Ali's best efforts the money isn't enough by the end of 1985 the contras are losing the fight against the sandinistas if something doesn't change the contrast will fail all he's floundering and not just with project democracy on the Nicaraguan front he's involved in another covert operation you know Ron a secret deal to trade arms for hostages
00:17:55on November 17th 1995 Ali gets a panic all from the Israeli defense minister General robine rabin's first words we have a problem or being talked so fast all I can barely keep up something about the shipment of Hawk missiles to Iran something about a plane not being allowed to land in Portugal Ali Cuts him off he tells him we can't talk about this on the phone until we need to talk to Bud first as only hangs up the phone it rings again it's bud bud tells Ali the score a large quantity of Hawk missiles were on the way to Ron about the Customs official in Lisbon Portugal wouldn't let the planes land so the Israeli planes turn back and flew home to Tel Aviv but is worried this snapping you might upset the hostage negotiators and blow up the deal
00:18:43Bartell's Ali to do whatever it takes to solve the problem and get the hostages back according to Ali by tell him something else to President Reagan has approved u.s. involvement Ali will later say he had his doubts about the around operation he knew the arms for hostages deal was wrong but like Reagan he wanted those hostages back so when Bud asks him to save the mission he leaves into action does his best to finish it with the help of the CIA but his best isn't good enough the shipment is a disaster only 18 missiles are delivered and none of them were the kind of Ron was expecting the Iranians are convinced Israel sabotage the shipment and if they are Ronnie and start to blame the US for the deal going sideways there's a chance they'll hurt the hostages
00:19:34best 1985 wines to a close to of Reagan's top priorities are in Jeopardy the hostages are still in the hands of terrorists in Lebanon and the contras are losing their fight against the sandinistas in Nicaragua Ali is desperate to break the impasse and succeed on both fronts in January 1986 he comes across a new plan the plan that will bind your Ron and contributions to gather the diversion diversion might help Ollie North achieve the Reagan administration's goals in Iran and Nicaragua but it will also push the White House closer to the precipice of Scandal and it'll push Ollie North even closer to the line of fire
00:20:21Ollie North will later say the diversion is what put the hyphen in Iran-Contra it's the moment in the story went to separate operations in two separate countries Collide to become one Scandal only also says the diversion was not his idea although he wishes it was because he'd love to take the credit instead it was manager Gabbana far the radian arms dealer who lines his pockets after the failed Hawk missile delivery in November 1985 Ali calls him dorba
00:20:56but had warned Ali to stay away from for but he told him ghorba was not to be trusted and all he knew he was right he knew ghorba was a shady character from the very beginning he heard plenty of rumors or is only in it for himself before but is a liar borba has failed 3 CIA polygraph test but in early 1986 ghorba is the only option until someone better comes along something anything is better than nothing because like Reagan all he's worried about the hostages rotting away in the Middle East if I lie has to bend the rules to get them back or do business with a man he knows he's untrustworthy so be it here's how I Lee tells it
00:21:38in January 1986 nine months before the hosel Force plane crash Ali flies to London to meet with Corbett at his suite at the Churchill Hotel the purpose of the meeting is to discuss an upcoming shipment of missile shooter on but you're only break for above pools Ali aside and takes them into the bathroom turns on the faucets to let the water run in case the room is bugged then he tells a lie in a low whisper that he has an idea what Hollywood like Corbett Allison there's a million dollars in it for you this is the first time in his career that always been offered a bribe and that's not how he operates he tells Gora is out of the question so Gourmet makes a different offer maybe instead we can make some money available to your friends Nicaragua well now ghorba has all his attention
00:22:25after the meeting Ali gets on a plane and flies back to DC the first thing he does is make an appointment with his boss The New National Security advisor John Poindexter
00:22:37Poindexter is an enigmatic figure known for his Fierce intelligence he graduated first in his class from the Naval Academy and then went on to earn a PhD in nuclear physics from the California Institute of Technology is also a thoughtful man who smokes a pipe and sees himself as a patriot like Ali and most of the characters in the story Poindexter is a True Believer in the Reagan Doctrine that communism terrorism are the two greatest threats to American Security when all he walks into poindexter's office in January of 1986 he gets right to the point he says I think we found a way to support the Nicaraguan resistance Ali explains gorebyss plan instead of using Israel as a middleman as they have been doing the US will sell missiles directly to a Ron Mark of the price and use the profits to fund the contras two birds one stone the diversion
00:23:30Poindexter likes the idea it's a perfect way to benefit two of the president's policy priorities getting the hostages back and supporting the contras later that night Poindexter calls only on a secure line and orders him to proceed with the diversion
00:23:46what happened to lead him to that decision depends on who you ask did he take it to the president or run it by anyone else or did he make a unilateral decision on his own here's what we do know on January 17th 1986 Reagan signs of presidential finding this one ordering vice admiral Poindexter and CIA to drop the Israeli mittleman negotiated direct sale of Arms from the u.s. to Iran this January 1986 finding is never delivered to Congress
00:24:19in February 1986 the diversion is Off to the Races over the next month Poindexter oversees the operation and Ali handles the details he gives the contras military advice coordinating directly As Leaders on both sides of the deal he runs point on everything from arms deliveries to negotiations with a Ron to coordinating with a CIA for the Contra resupply effort soon 1000 missiles are delivered to the wrong with poindexter's blessing Ali raises the price from 3.7 to 10 million dollars the extra 6.3 million dollars are then diverted to the Contra program so far so good except that it's not because no hostages are released and the president doesn't understand why is patience is wearing thin with his back against the wall Reagan reaches out to a former employee man who resigned when he thought Reagan wasn't listening to his advice but Reagan is ready to listen now he calls on bud MacFarlane
00:25:20it's May 1986 5 months before the plane carrying Eugene hasenfus a shot down a group of Americans a flight crew sits in a hotel room in Tehran but this isn't a bunch of vacationing Pilots the arms around you and guard standing watch outside make that abundantly clear a few days back these man flew to tie rod with fake Irish passports at planeload of spare parts for Hawk missiles they brought something else too well I guess they didn't like the cake now guess not it's a kosher cake in the shape of a key to be exact the cake is meant to symbolize a new opening to a Ron they also brought a Bible with a handwritten message inscribed inside signed by Ronald Reagan
00:26:07butter cake in the Bible don't have the effect the Americans hope for instead of receiving a warm welcome there promptly put on house arrest we should offer them the equipment though we're not giving them anything until we get what we want but we're not exactly in a position to negotiate are we if we offer them something then I said no we wait and just then the door to the hotel room opens and Ronnie Anne man in a dark suit enters he doesn't say a word he walks directly to the telephone picks it up and dial the number he holds out the receiver as if to say it's for you one of the American stance on his hands hello yes I'll hold
00:26:47the Americans exchange nervous glances then mr. Preston I sure am glad to hear your voice
00:26:54these men captives in a nurani and hotel room are high-level officials in the Reagan Administration part of the secret us delegation Center Tyrann to negotiate for the release of American hostages among them are two men of particular importance Ollie North and Bud McFarlane eventually but Ali and the other officials are let go but they're going back to Washington and two handed
00:27:22that story is based on claims made by the Iranian government claims reported on by major American news outlets but the truth is it's impossible to know what exactly happened in Iran that's because the people involved telestory very differently even about the smallest details in always version there was no Bible but there was a cake a cake he bought at a bakery in Tel Aviv on his way to a Ron but all he swears it was not in the shape of a key bun says there was no cake and all that later he walks at back and been in yes there was a cake but having the strange, Beyond I didn't make it but both men agree that are on trip was supposed to be a simple transaction fly to Tehran with a Plane full of Hawk missile Parts when the Iranians release the hostages to the Americans give them the hawk parts and fly back home Bozeman also agree the negotiations went horribly wrong but they disagree on wine
00:28:16Ali blames but all he says in the middle of heated negotiations the Iranians offer up two hostages in exchange for the parts and bhad bluest her the deal was for all the hostages not to always has been stormed out of the room and had to chase after him and beg him to reconsider two hostages were better than none he told him what God refuse to listen and cut off negotiations Bud McFarlane tells a different way he says when the president called and asked him to go to Tehran he couldn't refuse resigning his post as National Security advisor was the hardest thing he ever did and he still wanted to he would later tell the Washington Post that he started the arms for hostages mass in Budds mine going to Tehran was the only way to convince the president once and for all that did Ron initiative would never work
00:29:05from the moment their plane landed on the tarmac Bud says it was obviously are onions were not on the up-and-up no one was there to greet them and their Force awake for 2 hours in a holding area until Gabbana far finally showed his face from their larvae escorted them to a hotel and told them to wait for the Iranian officials who arrived two days went by and no one showed up while waiting in the hotel but learned that the Iranians had already violated the deal they had unloaded the weapons without permission then when the Iranians finally did show up they only offered to hostages and Buzz view these men were not acting in good faith so he killed the deal
00:29:45it's not that these discrepancies about cookies and cakes matter what they are emblematic of a greater issue with the Iran-Contra Affair the characters don't always remember things the same way there are unreliable narrators which makes the truth difficult wrestled to the ground
00:30:03on the way back to Washington bud and Ali have a layover in Tel Aviv on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport but orders the CIA Radioman to get John Poindexter online so he can give him the bad news I'll eat a spot on the shoulder as he passes don't worry about it it's not a total loss at least we're using some of the Ayatollah money in Central America
00:30:25I don't use referring to the diversion where money from arms sales as being funnel to the contras but but is confused he has no idea what all he is talking about what if what island just said is true and by knows the Messi started has grown into something worse than he ever imagined
00:30:43for blood can ask Ali any questions CIA Radioman Hansen the handset poindexter's on the line buds message to the man who replaced him as National Security advisor is brief we did not get the hostages back tell the president I'm sorry
00:30:59Ali says the flight back to Washington is a quiet one he says that when they land at Dulles airport he and Bud go to the White House together to brief the president in the Oval Office but says he tells the president the same thing he told him before he resigned stop negotiations they will never work but but doesn't say anything to Reagan about Ali's comment on the tarmac about using a Ron's money to support the contras it's not hard to imagine why because it's not hard to imagine that in May of 1986 buncey's the writing on the wall if money from the arm sales is going to the contras instead of the United States Treasury and that's a serious crime and if this information wherever to go public with Fallout would be catastrophic investigations hearings impeachment after the failed negotiations in Tehran Ali is angry what should have at least asked permission to get the two hostages back always certain Reagan would have given by the go-ahead to make the deal but in the meeting with Reagan
00:31:59Holly doesn't say a word instead he resolves to do what but could not get the hostages back
00:32:17Ollie North has always been something of a loose cannon depending on who you ask he's either Stark raving mad or a mad genius only didn't bark when Bud tapped into managed they are Ron and Connie operations he didn't question the legal ramifications of either he drove right in and he took charge maybe that's because I only sees himself as something of a Dark Knight a hero who will do whatever it takes to keep America safe he is more than willing to fight the bad guys even if it means breaking the law or maybe all he didn't think the Iran-Contra operations were illegal or maybe he didn't take it mattered because he believed he was operating with President Reagan's blessing but there is no down all he sees himself as a patriot and a man who doesn't back down from a fight especially if it means protecting the country and in the late summer of 1986 Ali has a big fight on his hand his opponent United States Congress
00:33:16it's August 6th 1986 two months before the hazan Force plane crash Reagan has finally convinced Congress to loosen up the Boland Amendment and support his goals in Nicaragua now there's a 100 million dollar Appropriations bill for the contras pending in Congress While most of the Republicans in the room want to start funding the contras as soon as possible the Democrats are not going to find anything till I get some answers only North sits in the president's chair in The Situation Room across from several members of the House intelligence committee there have been Rumors in the Press about Ollie's contract tivities 10 flea illegal activities in the room is tense Lee Hamilton a Democrat and the chair of the intelligence committee leaves off proceedings Mission or thank you for meeting with us I'm happy to do it sir but that's not true all he's not happy to do it the only reason he is here at all is because his boss John Poindexter ordered him to sit down with the congressman Pollito
00:34:16iPhone x or he would have to bend the truth you can handle it Ali for an extra told him but today sitting across from these Congressman only isn't so sure mr. North all we ask is that you tell us the truth courser the congressman fire off a slew of questions about all these alleged contract committees but all I know is a contra operation is just the tip of the iceberg the congressman don't know about the diversion they don't know about arms-for-hostages and they don't know that after his field trip to teheran Ali ditch Nirvana far and opened up a second channel to Aron to keep the operation alive all he has to be very very careful about what he says next and how he says it did you give the contras military advice I'm a military man Congressman when I sit down with military people it's inconceivable that we don't talk about military things but even if I thought I could give him advice you and I both know this war can't be run from Washington
00:35:14it's a non-answer and that's by Design it's also a lie Ali has been giving Adolfo calero and other country leaders military advice for years but if I only tells the truth you'll be admitting he violated the Boland Amendment so there's no criminal penalty for such a violation all he could lose his job not to mention be publicly disgraced dragged in front of Congress for hours of public testimony but even more importantly telling the truth it's spelled disaster for President Reagan and for the contras one last question did you personally ever raise money for the contras no sir I did not well thank you for your time yesterday
00:35:55holly leaves the meeting at peace with his decision yes he lied but he lied for the right reasons he lied to protect the president and preserve the contras body and soul 2 days after the meeting on August 8th 1986 John Poindexter send Sally a private message to simple words that say it all weld on the house intelligence committee is also satisfied in Korean to the Contra operation is closed over the next two months the 100 million dollar Appropriations Bill makes its way through Congress and passes and both the house and the Senate the final step is the budget committee reconciling the funds and then the bill will be ready for the president's signature but then on October 5th 1986 plane carrying 70 AK-47s 100,000 rounds of ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades is shot out of the sky over Nicaragua and when the sole survivor Eugene hasenfus is paraded in front of the press he tells the world
00:36:55CIA coordinated the flight
00:36:59sometime after the crash Ali gets his orders from the CIA director Bill Casey shut down the operation clean it up so all he gets to work he picks up the phone and calls his people on the ground in Nicaragua he orders them to leave the country and return to the United States immediately the CIA gets down to business to agents fly all us planes and equipment in Nicaragua for a remote Airfield the agency's bulldozers to dig a massive ditch and fill it with explosives then they push the entire fleet into the hole and blow it to bits the remaining scraps are dolls with fuel and incinerated in a fire that burns for days
00:37:40a few days after the crash Eugene hasenfus his captors Grant him an interview with Mike Wallace to air on 60 Minutes where he describes a clandestine Network the ferry tons of supply to the rebels Scandal where the key players often lie to symbol and change the story to serve themselves Hassan foot is one of the only people who tells the truth
00:38:00throughout the month of October Congress investigates plane crashing but repeated denials from the White House as well as from the CIA and the state department stymie the inquiry an issue is put to bed for the time on October 21st 1986 Reagan signs the budget Bill bringing an end to the need for the Diversion the Reagan Administration can now fund the contras out in the open mission accomplished at least for a fleeting moment because less than two weeks after the budget is enacted in early November of 1986 the other shoe drops al-sharia Lebanese news magazine publishes a bombshell a story the American people know nothing about an expose to blows the Iran Scandal wide open a Ciroc lamp the United States sold arms to Iran the article also outlines by MacFarlane and Ollie North secret trip to teheran trade arms for hostages
00:38:57the stories picked up by news media in the US and in papers all over the world the details are confirmed by high-level official in the Iranian government this presents a major problem for the Reagan Administration and that leaves two questions with potentially impeachable consequences what did President Reagan know and when did he know it almost immediately Reagan's cabinet builds a wall of protection around the president someone must take the blame for this but it won't be Reagan instead scapegoats chosen include Bud MacFarlane in his right hand man Ali born
00:39:35on the next episode of American Scandal we followed on region as we walls off the president Shield him from a media Firestorm and go smoking for a head to put on a spike I hope you enjoy this episode of American skin if you did subscribe now on Apple podcast Spotify Google podcast wondery. Com or wherever you're listen to this right now if you're listening on a smart Shopper swipe of the cover octopus podcast to find the episode including some details you may have missed you also find some offers from our sponsors please support the show by supporting them if you like the show one of the best ways you can show your appreciation is to give us a 5-star rating and leave a review I always love to know your thoughts and detail reviews are one of the best ways for others to find the show we used many sources for our stories very helpful in researching for this episode was firewall by Lawrence Walsh Under Fire by Oliver North and special trust my bud MacFarlane
00:40:35and just a quick note about our reenactments in most cases we can't know exactly what was said but everything in our show is based on historical research
00:40:44American Scandal is hosted edited soundesign and executive-produced By Me Lindsey Graham 4-airship additional production assistants by Karen parents this episode is written by Stephen Walters editing by Andrew Stelzer our consultant is Malcolm burn we highly recommend his book a Ron Contra Reagan Scandal and the unchecked abuse of Presidential Power executive producers are Stephanie Jen's Marshall turn on Lopez for wondering

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